Image credit: Skoda.co.uk
My Tips for Negotiating for a New Car
A couple of weeks ago we did something exciting, we bought a new car. As in brand new, never been owned by anyone else, select your own options and details. We’ve never done that before. I say we, but in actual fact it was me. A Skoda Superb estate, I now have to wait patiently another 3-4 months for it to arrive!
Life is crazy at the moment. We did a lot of driving on holiday and as a consequence, for various reasons, decided it was time for a new car. But with my husband working long hours and off to the States with business, his time is limited. We visited a garage, liked the car, but didn’t have time for a test drive. Then he said to me, you do it, you test drive it, if it’s right you’re competent and run the household finances, you do it. I trust you.
Not only did it feel like a huge responsibility, but I have never ever negotiated for a car before. This is something that my husband has always done. When I spoke to my female friends, all of them have said the same. None of them had ever negotiated for a car. Car negotiating pretty much falling into the prescribed ‘man’s role’. Which if you think about it, is quite ridiculous really, we live in a modern society do we not? But, even at the garage, when my husband came for the initial viewing, he had say to the salesman you should talk to my wife about this as she will be the one making the decision, because he automatically started talking to him.
I have to confess I felt quite nervous about doing it, but was quite determined to do so. So I did some research on car negotiating and thought I would share some tips with you. I also had to take a toddler in tow with me as I had no childcare – small hint – car dealers do not have baby change!
My New Car Negotiating Tips
- The BIG one is to research before you go into the dealers. If you’re buying a new car know what options are your deal breaker and which are nice to have. What engine you want, an idea on colour, so you know what you are looking for. You know where you stand and also it will help you to not overspend.
- Find out what the average discount you can get off the make of the type of car you want to buy – I did this just by googling the brand and getting an idea of what other people have paid.
- Have a look on what you can buy your car for on Car Wow which will give you another idea of what sort of discount you can get.
- Have firm figures in your head before you go. How much you want to spend, what is your monthly budget if you are planning on getting finance. Hold this in your mind as you are going to be tempted to spend more. The car is going to look shiny and lovely and bound to drive better than your current one.
- Research tax and insurance, boring I know. But if you’re going to go up several insurance groups it’s going to cost you.
- Take whatever you need to the test drive. I took car seats even though I was taking just one of my children as I wanted to see how they fit. The dealer also told me they had had people bring their dog and see how they got into the boot before. You are spending a lot of money so make sure it’s right and don’t be embarrassed to ask.
- If you have to take children with you, like I did, firstly don’t be apologetic – you’re the customer. But also take things with them to do, the whole process of negotiating and form filling actually took quite a long time. I was grateful of the magazine and snacks I had thrown into the change bag.
- Be prepared for games. Sales people do sales for a living. Think of it as a game where they know all the little techniques to push you into buying something. For example the sales person will always go to a room and speak to a manger before they agree anything. I also found when he went into the room he took aaaaaages, over 15 minutes. We did this about 4 or 5 times until we got the a deal. I won’t lie it was tedious. Quite frankly if he had given me the right price as the start I would have signed right away, but we had to do the silly sales dance.
- Don’t feel pressured, there was one point where I felt a bit overwhelmed so I just sat there pretending to read the papers. I wasn’t really reading them, but I needed to think things over and a bit of space. The salesman kept me waiting, so I figured if I needed time fair was fair.
- Remember you can always walk away. There are other cars and other dealers, if it doesn’t feel right or feels too much walk away.
Probably the over riding takeaway that I had about the car buying process was how my initial expectations had been wrong about what it would entail. I’d imagined that buying a shiny new car would be a lot of fun, but of course that part comes when it’s delivery time. In reality the process of agreeing on a deal was really competitive and totally exhausting. The sales people were polite, coffee was offered and the chairs are comfortable but the aim of the game is for each person to get the best deal out of their opponent. Where I thought I’d feel elation, instead I was just relieved it all over.
It wasn’t enjoyable and surely buying a car should be? But I do feel proud of having done this myself and eventually getting a ‘good deal’. But it did leave me thinking surely there is a better way to buy a car than this?
I however am now eagerly anticipating our delivery date and so looking forward to our shiny new car.